The Roker Ramble: TV Rights & Wrongs

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The End Is Nigh!... or so the media and certain TV stations would have you believe. Apparently the recent EU Court ruling in which its now perfectly fine for Pubs to use a foreign decoder to show 3pm kick-offs mean the end is coming - The "Worlds Greatest League' (copyright BSkyB) will no longer be able to attract the best players because Sky wil suddenly start paying less, and the Four Horsemen will approach.

Boo and indeed Hoo. What a shame that the rich will no longer get even richer...

From the kick-off I'd like to post the disclaimer I think it's unlikely Sky will drop out of any deal. The next deal might not be a blockbuster £1.7bn or whatever the last one was, but it's sure to be not far off that. Failing that, some other wealthy company will no doubt pay the going rate.

If however the deal lowers, I can see it being of benefit to the league as a whole in this country, and in particular fans like you and me.

Most importantly, clubs are going to have to fight against the pubs in a much more tactical way. One which we've actually suggested on this site in fact - they'll have to run in competition with the pubs instead of against them, and trying to have them shut down.

The obvious way here would be to offer cheaper ticket prices. I'm well aware that our ticket prices are among the best in the league, and we applaud the club for doing so, but many others will have to get in line, or offer something incredibly low. Something they could actually do, but the greed of clubs is beyond belief.

Much like ticket prices, everything else will have to come down. Players wages, the main expenditure of clubs, being a big one. So of course, a few of the tarty 'bigger' names will go off to Spain or the UAE or wherever. Let them. There are some great players in this league, no doubt, but when we're repeatedly told that "the best players in the world" are on these shores, I'm failing to see that. They're already over populating Madrid & Catalonia. Let's not kid ourselves here.

Wages coming down might also extend to board members and other lurkers - who wouldn't want to see shot of the likes of Peter Kenyon and the like, or Kia Joorabchian, only hanging around to make a quick and excessive buck for themselves?

Sky themselves may also have to change the way they operate. Certainly there's a chance of less televised games, which is fine for us who are hardly ever on anyway, but from a personal perspective it would bring back a joy in watching Match Of The Day, having not seen the goals already from all the games. Perhaps even the BBC themselves or another terrestrial channel could realistically bid for the rights. Who knows, there might even for once be a big game at 3pm on a Saturday. The good old days are returning.

For exiles who have to rely on streams, mainly illegal, there's every chance a better, legal alternative will be offered. I know several who would be very interested in this idea, and Sky could certainly reclaim some coffers there should they wish. They've already got cameras at every game, so why not offer it as many other major sports do.

Hopefully, without the Sky interference or distraction of piles of cash, teams will be on a more even keel. Now most those at the top are reliant on a wealthy benefactor rather than Sky, but outside of that, there maybe a dismantlement of the sub-leagues within the Premier League. With some of those in the upper echelons of these leagues having to cut cloth accordingly, say a Spurs or Villa losing some key names, there's every chance the 'smaller' teams can compete with them.

So I've mentioned plenty of TV rights, but what about the wrongs? The only wrong for me would be if nothing at all happens and the status quo is maintained, either by Sky or another broadcaster.

I'd hope all this can happen, or at least part of it. Mainly the lower ticket prices if I'm honest. With the fans mattering more in this, it's crucial that we're enticed to go. By comparison the Bundesliga signed a 'meager' £1bn deal with Premiere, later to become Sky Deutschland, where you can go watch current champions Borussia Dortmund and get change from £20, and the league itself is now one of the strongest and most exciting in Europe.

Less money floating round the league isn't necessarily a bad thing to me, I hope that if this is the case we can take a leaf out of our Teutonic neighbours.

What's your view on the recent ruling? Let us know by making a comment!

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